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Wafaa Bilal’s Domestic Tension

Iraqi-American artist Wafaa Bilal spent an entire month living in a Chicago art gallery where he had rigged a webcam and remote controlled paintball gun which visitors online or at the actual gallery could use to shoot at him. The piece highlighted the danger everyday Iraqi citizens face both in terms of actual violence and the vitriol generated by the controversial and geopolitically convoluted war. The experience re-triggered the post-traumatic stress disorder that Bilal had acquired in his home country. The installation as well as his life as an activist, artist, and refugee are documented in his book, Shoot An Iraqi: Art, Life and Resistance Under the Gun.

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